04 March 2010

but where are you from-from?

so, i woke up first thing this morning and saw this article in the guardian. the second i saw it, i just had a major, major laugh.

but she has a valid point.

to be non-white in britain is to have your right to be in britain automatically questioned. it's really annoying. heh. i could actually do something like "s/britain/any european country" and it would still be true. nothing can ruin a night out more than walking home and seeing some cops who promptly say "can i see your papers?" and of course, they will use "tu" instead of "vous" or "usted" or "você". it's times like that when i speak english with an american accent, since i just can't be bothered with such silly racism from the cops.

of course, if you're light-skinned or look "mixed" then it's not as much of an issue. the assumption becomes "oh, your mother is white, your dad is from wherever" and are you are at least treated like a citizen. even more so if it seems that you plan on lightening the line from your choice of partner.

some people i know get really touchy about this, especially non-dark black americans who relocate to europe. god. i often get to the point where an internet discussion gets so heated that i have to remind myself about what they say regarding arguments on the internet*.

in most places i've lived, people have just assumed i'm nigerian. even other nigerians. i'm actually okay with this. it's funny though, even when i was living in senegal, my boyfriend's father called me obasanjo [and our gabonese friend he called bongo].

in south africa, however, to be considered nigerian is very problematic. funnily enough, there's an apartment that i have my eye on that i probably will not be able to rent because even though it's fantastically renovated, it's in a building that is in the process of gentrification, with a large percentage of its current residents being foreign africans, some of whom are troublemakers, resulting in an "all immigrants are horrible" sentiment, some of which also mean regular raids by the police. oh well. i have until october to figure out how i'm going to do things.

anyway, back to the daily grind.

*you know the one -- arguing on the internet is like being in the special olympics: even if you win, you're still retarded.

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